Possibilities amid disruptions

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Ramon Jocson, Head of Enterprise Services Segment of Bank of the Philippine Islands

With a history that dates back 167 years, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has been true a game-changer in the country’s banking and finance industry.

As the first bank in the Philippines and the entire Southeast Asia, the bank keeps abreast of various disruptions in order to deliver relevant banking services to Filipinos. While various disruptions — especially in the digital realm — may be a threat to some, the 167-year-old bank perceives them as exciting possibilities for the industry.

“At BPI, we keep an eye on developing trends and nascent technologies that may be disruptive. Disruptions, however, are also emerging opportunities for us. They provide us with exciting prospects to provide better customer service, innovate our processes, or come up with new products or services,” said Mon Jocson, BPI Head of Enterprise Services Segment.

BPI is known as a leading figure in the digitalization of the country’s banking industry. As a testament to this, the bank was the first to introduce the through-the-wall 24/7 automated teller machine (ATM) and the Express Payment System or EPS.

Moreover, BPI was also the first to have the local interactive voice response system for financial services, mobile banking, and online branch appointment system, among others.

“If we look at our clients now, many of them are digitally savvy. They embrace technology because of the convenience, safety and reliability it offers them. The proliferation of smartphones alone has created a demand for us to create an app that would allow them to make transactions anytime and anywhere,” said Jocson.

Further stepping up its game as it positions itself at the forefront of digitalization in the local banking industry, the bank has soft-launched a new online portal and mobile app to offer a better customer experience for its clients.

“As we see it, transactions done digitally will overtake those done with cash in the coming years. At the moment we are a cash-heavy country with only about one to two percent non-cash transactions. But we are moving toward a ‘cash-lite’ economy,” Jocson said.

“Through our digitalization efforts, expansion of our branch network, strengthening of our SME and retail business, and focus on financial inclusion through our microfinance arm, BanKo, we hope to shape a whole new experience for all our customers and offer them a better, safer and more convenient way to bank with us.”

Although disruptions have changed and continue to transform the landscape of banking and finance industry in the country, one thing remains true for BPI.

“Our BPI Credo says our first responsibility is to our clients. Despite changing times, this has always been true for us. This has led us to value innovation in technology and processes so we can serve our clients well. Building lasting and meaningful relationships is very important,” said Jocson.

“We want to offer convenience and efficiency through the use of technology, and more meaningful and higher value interactions with clients in our branches. Customer service, excellence and integrity continue to define BPI.”